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The Innovator's Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth, 2nd Edition by Neil DeCarlo, Philip Samuel, David Silverstein

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Technique 21

Imaginary Brainstorming

Get silly for the sake of creativity.

 

Imaginary brainstorming helps distance you from practicalities that may be hindering your creativity. Say you are trying to gain market share in Southeast Asia. With imaginary brainstorming, you could replace market share with exotic animals and concentrate instead on gaining exotic animals in Southeast Asia. After brainstorming solutions for this imaginary scenario, you would come full circle and retrofit the resulting ideas to the original problem.

When you're struggling to develop innovative ideas around a particular area, imaginary brainstorming encourages a fun atmosphere where wild and crazy ideas can be put forward, and people can participate without intimately understanding the technicalities of the problem.

If you conduct classic brainstorming before imaginary brainstorming, you'll identify the most obvious and common ideas. Then you can encourage the team to go beyond these ideas during imaginary brainstorming.

Steps

Scenario: Pretend you're a professor in the history department of a local college. You and your colleagues are having difficulty getting students to submit their assignments on time. It's a topic at every weekly meeting, where the same ideas come up but never seem to work. Let's see how imaginary brainstorming can help your group generate new ideas for solving this dilemma.

1. Identify Real Problem Elements

Review the problem, or job to be done (JTBD), and identify the following ...

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